CBS (WTVY) Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that those who spread “fake news” about U.S. President-elect Donald Trump are “worse than prostitutes.”
The Russian leader fielded questions about the incoming U.S. president during a news conference with his Moldovan counterpart at the Kremlin.
He dismissed as a hoax a privately-prepared intelligence dossier that claimed Russian intelligence agencies had compromising material on Mr. Trump, including candid video shot at a Moscow hotel when he was there in 2013 for the filming of the Miss Universe pageant.
U.S. officials have not confirmed the details of the dossier, or the allegation that Russia has what is known as “kompromat” in Moscow on Mr. Trump, but it is a widely-known and well-documented practice of Putin’s intelligence services to collect such material for blackmail.
Putin accused the outgoing Obama administration of trying to undermine Mr. Trump’s legitimacy.
Russia has been blamed by President Obama and myriad Democratic and Republican lawmakers -- citing conclusions drawn by the U.S. intelligence community -- for hacking into Democratic institutions and interfering in the American presidential election process in favor of Mr. Trump.
Putin’s government has flatly rejected the allegations.
Mr. Trump himself finally accepted, in his first news conference since winning the election, that Russia was behind the hacking of the Democrat’s servers, but has called suggestions that their actions were taken on his behalf “fake news.”
The Russian leader said he hoped Mr. Trump’s presidency would allow for the normalization of U.S.-Russian relations.